Temporary traffic light solution

By HA van Nieuwenhuizen, H Esterhuyse, Adv HP van Nieuwenhuizen and L Vos, Leviathan Engineering


Published in:

Electricity+Control, April 2014 (pages 28-30)

Enquiries:  hvn@joburgbar.co.za


Read the full article on Temporary traffic light solution  in PDF format.


Traffic congestion in metropolitan cities is, bluntly put, generally terrible. IBM’s Global Commuter Pain Survey notes that traffic comes in a variety of forms, the ‘stop-and-start’ kind being the worst. The same study also reveals that drivers in Johannesburg seem to be ‘particularly vexed’ when it comes to stop-and-start type traffic. Traffic congestion has a variety of causes: Accidents, poor driving, road works and traffic light outages.

When a traffic light system malfunctions, it normally takes a while [measured in hours if not days] before it is repaired. In the meantime motorists become frustrated as they lose time in traffic, and start to fatigue - causing a marked deterioration in the motorists’ driving performance. Motorists’ frustrations are typically exacerbated by the same old (repetitive) story of a flashing red traffic light causing (once again) significant delays.

The solution presented in this article seeks to change that ‘same old story’. In Gauteng more than seven traffic lights are out of order daily according to a news24 traffic report. Some intersections are quite infamous for their traffic lights (or lack thereof). After some investigation into why traffic lights malfunction it was found that the most likely reasons are cable theft, system resets, weather contributory factors and parts’ failures. All of the latter require technicians to repair the malfunctions which can take anything between a couple of hours and a week.

The authors have developed a Temporary Traffic Light Solution (TTLS) that is cost-effective, portable, quick and easy to install. The solution consists of water-proof, battery-powered traffic light face plates (called TTLS nodes) used to cover the malfunctioning set of traffic lights. The TTLS fits onto existing traffic lights by means of a faceplate that fits over the existing sun cover, eliminating the need for its own sun cover. As an additional feature, the TTLS can strap onto stop street signs as well.

A comprehensive description of this solution is contained in the attached PDF.


Take note

  • In Gauteng (South Africa) the reasons for traffic light malfunction are cable theft, system resets, weather and failure of parts.
  • A cost-effective, portable, quick and easy-to-install temporary traffic light solution or TTLS has been developed.
  • The temporary traffic light solution (TTLS) traffic light nodes communicate wirelessly on a custom protocol making access to thieves impossible.